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China gears up for lunar mission after round-trip success

BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- The head of China's lunar probe program has called for a thorough analysis of data collected from the test lunar orbiter, which returned Saturday, to speed up work on Chang'e-5, the star of the 2017 lunar mission.

With the test lunar orbiter landing early Saturday in north China after an eight-day flight, China joined the Soviet Union and the United States and became the third nation to realize a return mission to the Moon.

"The mission was realized with stable flight and precision in launch timing, orbit entry, recovery, and all pre-set goals were achieved," said Xu Daze, also head of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, on Sunday at a cermony for the reception of the orbiter.

According to Xu, the mission marked a "breakthrough" in the third and final phase of the lunar schedule -- orbiting, landing and return -- and had heighened understanding of high-velocity re-entry mechanisms, development of new materials and innovative space equipment design.

Chang'e-5 will collect samples from the lunar surface in a mission planned for 2017.

Related:

China's unmanned lunar orbiter returns home, first in nearly four decades

BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- China succeeded Saturday in the world's first mission to the Moon and back in some 40 years, becoming the third nation to do so after the former Soviet Union and the United States.

The test lunar orbiter, nicknamed "Xiaofei" on Chinese social networks, landed in Siziwang Banner of China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region early Saturday morning. Full story

Chang'e-2 lunar probe 100 million km away from earth

BEIJING, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- China's second lunar probe, Chang'e-2, was 100 million km into deep space in July, the longest journey of ant Chinese spacecraft, a senior engineer said Thursday.

The lunar probe, launched on Oct. 1, 2010, has extended its service by several years and remains in good condition, Zhou Jianliang, chief engineer of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center told Xinhua. Full story

New lunar mission to test Chang'e-5 technology

BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- China will launch a new lunar mission this week to test technology likely to be used in Chang'e-5, a future lunar probe with the ability to return to Earth.

The experimental spacecraft launched this week is expected to reach a location near the moon and return to Earth, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense on Wednesday. Full story

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